The two officially recognized parties in the State of New Jersey – the Democratic and Republican parties – each hold a primary election in June, the purpose of which is to elect front-runner candidates to represent their respective party in the November general election. In addition to voting in their favorite candidate(s) for the general election, primary elections are also used to elect members of the political parties’ state and county committees. The county committees comprise individual municipal committees from the 24 municipalities throughout Sussex County.
Municipal / County Committees
The members of the municipal committees of political parties must reside in the districts which they will respectively represent. Each political committee consists of one male and one female member from each district of representation in the county. Each county committee determines, by its bylaws, the districts into which the county shall be divided for the purpose of representation in the county committee.
About County Committee (ref. N.J.S.A. 19:5-3, 19:13-20)
- The members of the county committee of each of the political parties shall take office on the first Saturday following their election, on which day the terms of all members of such committees theretofore shall terminate.
- The annual meeting of each county committee shall be held on the first Tuesday following the primary election.
- When a member of a county committee ceases to be a resident of the district from which elected, a vacancy on the county committee results.
- County committee members may resign upon written notification to the county clerk and their party chair (notarized signature required).
- The term of county committee membership is two years.
- Elections for Republican County Committee membership are held in even years, e.g., 2018, 2020, 2022
- Elections for Democratic County Committee are held in odd years, e.g., 2017, 2019, 2021
The members of State committee of each political party are elected at the primary election of the year in which a Governor is to be elected. The term of a State Committee member is four years. One male and one female state committee member of each political party is elected to represent Sussex County at the State level. The State Committee members elected at the June 2017 Primary are: Republican State Committee members Jill Space and F. Parker Space; and Democratic State Committee members Michele Van Allen and Benjamin A. Silva.